William Watson, M. D.
|WILLIAM WATSON, M. D., is a worthy
representative of the medical profession in Dubuque, occupying a
prominent position among those of the fraternity in this locality.
He was born in Yorkshire, England, on the 14th of May, 1826, and is
a son of Joseph and Ann (Metcalf) Watson. In 1827 the parents
emigrated with their family to the New World. The vessel in which
they sailed dropped anchor in the harbor of New York, whence they
made their way to Middletown, Conn. In 1830 they removed to Onondaga
County, N.Y., where the Doctor was reared and educated, attending
the common schools. In 1844 he want to Ohio, and spent the
succeeding winter in Huron County. In May of 1845, we find him in
Milwaukee, Wis., but after a brief sojourn in that place he went to
Beloit, Wis., on the Rock River, where he remained for seven years.
During that time Mr. Watson took up the study of medicine with Drs.
A. and E. L. Clark, after which he entered Rush Medical College of
Chicago, and in the spring of 1852 began practice at McGregor, Iowa,
where he remained until the fall of 1853. During the succeeding
winter he again attended lectures in Rush Medical College, from
which institution he was graduated in February, 1854. That year also
witnessed his arrival in Dubuque, where he has now for forty years
engaged in general practice as one of the skilled and successful
physicians of this city.
In October, 1861, Dr. Watson was appointed Surgeon of the Eleventh
Iowa Infantry, commanded by Col. A. M. Hare, of Muscatine. He then
went to the front, and with the regiment was attached to the Third
Division of the Army of the Tennessee commanded by General McArthur.
He saw service at Jefferson City, at Shiloh and at Corinth and was
then appointed Assistant Surgeon of the United States Volunteer
Corps, being assigned to duty at Memphis, Tenn., where he remained
busily employed throughout the Vicksburg campaign. In September,
1863, he was promoted to the rank of Surgeon and placed in charge of
the Jackson Hospital, where he remained until February, 1864, when
he was ordered to report for duty at Louisville, Ky., and was sent
to Rock Island, Ill., as Surgeon at the post at that place. On his
arrival there he found fifteen hundred sick Confederate prisoners,
and among them were four hundred and twenty cases of smallpox, but
Dr. Watson was equal to the emergency and soon had affairs in good
condition. He remained in charge at that post until the close of the
war, when, his services being no longer needed, he was mustered out,
on the 24th of October, 1865, having served for four years and four
days. Although he did not carry a musket his work was none the less
arduous or important, and he well deserves mention among the brave
boys in blue who defended their country in her hour of peril.
Dr. Watson at once returned to his home and family in Dubuque.
November 26, 1860, he had married Miss Lucy Giddings, of Portland,
Me., who died March 13, 1862, leaving one son, Fred J., who is now a
teacher in a high school of Chicago. The Doctor was again married
September 14, 1868, his second union being with Miss Lucy C. Conkey,
Immediately after his return from the war, Dr. Watson resumed
practice in Dubuque. The following winter he spent in Bellevue
Hospital, of New York City, but since that time has devoted his
energies to his profession in this place. He is well known and well
established in business, having] a large and lucrative practice. He
is a member of the State Medical Society, which was organized in
1850, and served as its President in 1868, the first year in which
it met in DesMoines. He has also been a member of the American
Medical Association since 1857, and belongs to Lookout Post, G. A.
R. He is a popular gentleman and a valued citizen, and in the
community where he makes his home is held in high esteem by both
young and old, rich and poor. In politics he is a stanch supporter
of the principles of the Republican party.
|~source: Portrait and Biographical
Record of Dubuque, Jones and Clayton Counties, Iowa. Chicago:
Chapman Publishing Co. 1894. Pages 124-125.